What To Expect When Your Home Is On The Market

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You’ve made the decision to sell your home.  You’ve worked diligently to prepare it for listing (read more about that process here.)  What happens next?  In this post, I’m answering your questions about what you can expect as a seller when your home is on the market.

How will I know when my house is active on the market?

Having your home ‘on the market’ refers to the process of creating a listing for you in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  The process requires the agent to populate a lengthy list of fields that describe your property in great detail.  Everything from dimensions of rooms to the type of title your property carries to the financing terms you are accepting and compensation you are offering a cooperating broker.  It’s the same system where photos, videos or virtual tours can be uploaded to offer a more comprehensive look inside your home.  A copy of required paperwork will be uploaded to your listing making it easily accessible to agents when drafting an offer.  Once the information is uploaded and the listing is complete, the listing is saved as ‘active’ and the property becomes visible on the MLS.

Once your property is in the active status on the MLS, showings must be made available within 24 hours of listing the property.  At this point, the priming and polishing necessary to have your home showing ready should be behind you.  It’s time to get buyers through your doors.

How will I know when showings schedule?

So much of what makes showing your home stressful is being in the dark about what happens next.  Thanks to modern technology, you can be more informed than ever about who is coming and going from your home.

Showings on your home are scheduled by other real estate agents using a program called ShowingTime.  Enabling ShowingTime is done manually by your agent upon completion of your MLS listing.  Within this program, I am able to set parameters around your personal showing needs.  Selling your home with young kids, early bedtimes or mid-day nap times can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress.  We can limit showings to times that work for you and your lifestyle and preserve your quality of life as much as possible.

Sellers can download the ShowingTime app for free through the App Store.  From there, you can customize the way in which you receive showing requests.  Setting up push notifications to alert you of new showings, or email or text alerts or a combination of the above are options you can customize to suit your needs.  Once you receive a showing request, you can accept, decline or propose a new time by clicking on the request and following the prompts.

Perhaps managing showing requests during the workday isn’t feasible for you or you just want nothing to do with it.  No problem, I can easily manage it for you and keep you informed on a need-to-know basis.

Information for gaining entry to your home is not made visible to the buyer’s agent until their showing request has been confirmed.  At that time they will receive information for accessing your property as well as any specific showing instructions such as pets on premise, alarm codes or requests for removing shoes, etc.

How long should I plan to be out of the house for a showing?

Agents will typically default to requesting 1 hour to show your property.  This does not necessarily mean that they will arrive at your door at the exact start time they requested, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see them pull up.  Agents will often overlap showing requests when showing multiple properties building in a buffer to show more properties in a shorter window of time.

What happens after the showing?  How do I know what they thought or if they’re interested?

The ShowingTime App will begin prompting the buyer’s agent for feedback on their showing shortly after their scheduled showing has finished.  This feedback is a brief form that the agent populates with static questions ranging from the agent and buyers opinion of price to the interest level the buyer has expressed in the property.

Some agents will fill this form out and send it through by email immediately alerting the listing agent that the party is interested, moving forward with writing an offer or is no longer interested in the property.  Other agents may forgo filling out the form altogether and will instead place a call to the listing agent directly.  Feedback on the property is exchanged between agents and will be passed along to homeowners as pertinent information is received.

I had a request for a 2nd showing come through, what does this mean?

A second showing is not uncommon when buying or selling a home.  A second showing is scheduled when the party has already been through the property once and is coming back to walk through the property for a second time.  It is often a sign that a party is interested, but on the fence about writing an offer.

As a seller, this is the time to pull out all the stops when showing your home.  Make sure you’ve gone through your list of showing preparations paying extra attention to having the house look and feel clean and free of odors that could turn buyers away.  What else could you do to incentivize buyers to move forward with an offer?  Fresh cut flowers, additional staging touches or add a printed piece highlighting upgrades you’ve made to the property.  Work with your Realtor and get creative with your strategy.

How will I know if I’m receiving an offer?

Typically, if a party is interested in or planning to write an offer, the agent representing the buyers will place a call to the listing agent.  In this phone call they’ll begin gathering information on the property to better pinpoint the terms of their offer and to inform the listing agent that they are writing an offer and when they should expect to receive it.

Does this mean that the party will submit an offer every single time?  No.  For this reason, many listing agents will wait to inform homeowners of any potential offers until it is in writing and in the hands of the listing agent.

There’s no doubt that having your home on the market can be a stressful time.  While there’s the unavoidable nuisances of having to keep your house clean, much of the stress comes from the uncertainty of knowing what’s coming next.  The entire process can be made more manageable by being in close communication with your Realtor and having a thorough understanding of the process.

If you’ve been thinking of selling your home, I’d love to sit down with you and provide more detailed market conditions for your neighborhood including how many days on average homes are on the market and the average number of showings taking place on active properties.  This detailed information and more can set your expectations at bay early on and help gauge the longevity of this transitional time.

Let’s schedule a visit, you can get in touch with me here.

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